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 Roach, foulest of creatures,
who attacks with yellow teeth
and an army of cousins big as shoes,
you are lumps of coal that are mechanized
and when I turn on the light you scuttle
into the corners and there is this hiss upon the land.
Yet I know you are only the common angel turned into, by way of enchantment, the ugliest.
Your uncle was made into an apple.
Your aunt was made into a Siamese cat, all the rest were made into butterflies but because you lied to God outrightly-- told him that all things on earth were in order-- He turned his wrath upon you and said, I will make you the most loathsome, I will make you into God's lie, and never will a little girl fondle you or hold your dark wings cupped in her palm.
But that was not true.
Once in New Orleans with a group of students a roach fled across the floor and I shrieked and she picked it up in her hands and held it from my fear for one hour.
And held it like a diamond ring that should not escape.
These days even the devil is getting overturned and held up to the light like a glass of water.

by Anne Sexton
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